The Orissa High Court has directed the Union of India to make all arrangements, including financial and travelling provisions, for the Indian Under-18 Women's Volleyball Team to participate in the 14th Asian Women's Volleyball Championship, which is scheduled to be held in June at Nakhon Pathom city of Thailand.
While expressing serious dismay at the inaction of the Union of India in this respect, a Single Judge Bench of Justice Biswanath Rath observed,
"It is at this stage, this Court also considers the prestige of the Country involved herein. A Country having 175 crores of people even and at its position, if it fails in sending the contingency already selected to participate in the prestigious event like the 14th Asian Women's U-18 Volleyball Championship, will not send a good signal. This Court finds, the Union of India is even not coming to assist the Court for involving a contest at their level. This Court records the bizarre affair in the cooperation of O.Ps. 1 & 2 in such serious matter in spite of two adjournments already granted."
The writ petition was filed by Ms. Lasyamayee Mohanta, a Volleyball player from Odisha who was selected to represent Indian Under-18 Women's Volleyball Team in the 14th Asian Women's U-18 Volleyball Championship.
There is a serious allegation that even though there is no dispute with regard to players but due to some disputes involving management of the Volleyball Federation of India pending at some other level, there is inaction on the part of authorities to send the team for the participation in the aforesaid competition, which is scheduled to be held between 06.06.2022 to 13.06.2022 at Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
In the petition, it was alleged that in spite of recommendation being made by O.P. 3 for sending the Indian Under -18 Women Volleyball Team, there is no decision taken and thus, there is serious prejudice to the players. It also expressed displeasure that the country may be deprived of its participation in the process.
Mr. P.K. Rath, counsel for the petitioner submitted that the players cannot be allowed to suffer for no latches on their part and further even assuming there have been some disputes regarding some other issues involving Volleyball Federation of India, that should not come in the way of either selection or representation of India in such prestigious competition. He further stressed that unless an interim protection is granted allowing participation of the contingency, India will go unrepresented in the 14th Asian Women's U-18 Volleyball Championship.
Notably, in the course of hearing, Mr. P.K. Parhi, Assistant Solicitor General of India for the Union of India submitted that in spite of his best effort, neither O.P. 1. nor O.P. 2 responded to his communications.
The Court found that there is no legal obstruction in sending the Indian contingency for participating in the 14th Asian Women's U-18 Volleyball Championship, though there have been some disputes pending with regard to the issues not related herein. Keeping in view the above circumstances and as there was no objection coming from O.Ps.1 & 2 as of the date of hearing, the Court was constrained to direct O.Ps. 1 & 2 to make all necessary arrangements for moving of the contingency. It accordingly ordered,
"Looking to the Schedule prepared by the President, Thailand Volleyball Association at Nakhon Pathom, the Organiser of the Event and communicated to the President, Volleyball Federation of India appearing at Annexure-5, this Court directs O.Ps.1 & 2 to make all arrangements for preparation and moving of the contingency prepared under Annexure-4 following the communication on the Schedule and the time frame in different aspect and also make necessary financial arrangements for their movement to participate in the 14th Asian Women's U-18 Volleyball Championship including VISA facility, if any, by completing the entire exercise within three days from the date of communication of this order. In the meantime, O.P. 3 is directed to keep the contingency selected list, vide Annexure-4 ready to proceed for their participation in the event."
Case Title: Lasyamayee Mohanta v. Union of India & Ors.
Case No.: W.P.(C) No. 11906 of 2022
Order Dated: 19th May 2022
Coram: Justice Biswanath Rath
Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr. P.K. Rath, Advocate
Counsel for the Respondents: Mr. P.K. Parhi, Assistant Solicitor General of India & Mr. Prabhu Prasanna Behera, Central Government Counsel
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ori) 84